The Skinny on The Canadian QuickBooks Online Version

Posted by on Jun 11, 2013 in News Updates | 16 comments

Quickbooks OnlineSo you say you’re still using QuickBooks desktop but you’ve heard that a Canadian version of QuickBooks Online (QBO) is now available. Is this the time right for you to change over and what can you expect – might be your next comment. Well, I’m here to give you the skinny on what to watch out for.

Now this is by no means meant to discredit the Canadian QBO because it has taken 12 years for its release. My educated guess that the time lag was due to a much smaller market up here in Canada, compared to the United States. That makes sense to me since their population is about a 9 to 1 ratio.

Anyways, since the Canadian QBO is still in its infancy there are some hurdles that Intuit Canada has yet to implement. First let me bring you up to date on the three different online versions that are available. I will not go into prices or comparisons because I have already blogged about that. The versions are – EasyStart, Essentials and Plus, and are sold by way of subscription only.

Now for the scoop:

  • the main one that I have trouble with is that your desktop company file can not be converted into an online company file. Now I’m sure that will change in the very near future because who wants to go adding all the Customers, Vendors, Items, etc. manually back in. Now, there is an Import feature that will accomplish a bit of this, but even that does not import all the fields. AND… you will still have to enter the Opening Balance entries.
  • the second irritating problem is Tech Support for the Canadian version. Huge problem. At the time of this writing, the number meant for QBO is being forwarded to Desktop Tech Support, and of course they don’t know QBO nor can they help you. So unless you are working with a ProAdvisor that is versed in QBO, you could be waiting online for a long time my friend.
  • This next one is key for those that run Inventory Control. QBO is not meant for companies that require INVENTORY CONTROL! Can’t speak for the US version, but the Canadian QBO is really designed for service type companies.
  • In the desktop version you can create as many different company files as your data limit will accommodate
  • In the online version you will have to purchase a separate subscription for each company
  • the desktop versions (Pro and Premier) have limits to the number of Customers, Vendors and Items – among others that the company file can handle
  • QBO has no limits to the above stated (Great feature for companies with transaction heavy entries)
  • there is not a OBO for non-profit type organizations at this time
  • Multi-currency is only available in the Plus version
  • since QBO is a cloud based program you will have to customize your browser to allow pop-ups, otherwise you may a bit of a problem navigating
  • speaking of navigating, in QBO it is all done through Tabs, where desktop has a number of Icons and Flow Charts

You will find that the QBO Preferences will be something that you will have to take your time to go through, and customize it to your particular use.  For instance, although QBO assigns default Invoice numbers there is a way to override that.

Try going through Company/Preferences/Sales Form Entry and clicking on the box that says Custom transaction numbers. That will open up the Invoice number field which will allow you to use whatever number you like.

As mentioned, these are just a few of the little quirks that you will be dealing with when using QBO.

PS: If you’re going to try the free 30 day trial version of QBO, use the sample data to maximize your time.

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16 Responses to “The Skinny on The Canadian QuickBooks Online Version”

  1. I own Quickbooks Pro. No offence Intuit, but not having a feature to export from desktop to online and vice versa makes QBO useless in Canada. You have this feature for US and when you develop it for Canada I will probably switch, but right now it’s useless for companies with a history. New companies may find use in QBO. They will need assurance that they can back up the file and use it on a desk top of internet access goes down. Until you have these features done, I consider this QBO to be in development stage still. Can’t pay for this. My opinion, and probably many others.

    • I could not agree with you more. It is unbelievable that they can legally sell accounting software that can not be exported onto another file. I regret switching to QBO and am desperately looking for a way back to QB Desktop. If anyone can help I would be forever grateful.

  2. Yes agreed, QB Online looks like a fantastic setup, however, it is useless until I can import my QB Desktop data file into the Canadian Online version!

  3. I own QB pro as well. I agree with Chad and will not pay for a product without the import/export feature. Please contact me if this becomes available in the future.

  4. Agreed. I too am awaiting the import functionality into the online version. Shouldn’t this be the very first feature implemented for the online version to be even remotely feasible for an established company? I can’t see how they could even release QBO without this feature.

  5. Couldn’t agree more. Feels like a sloppy attempt to lock users into the version we’ve already purchased. Perhaps Intuit could elaborate on a strategy or timeline for support?

  6. Be aware, currently QBO Canada does not accept credit card payments like the desktop option. It took chatting with 3 support folk ( in the USA ) before someone told us that. And won’t be availabe for a couple of years, so they say.

    PS…. as of a month or so ago, you can now import all your desktop data, yah ! Just be careful, it does not combine info, so when exporting from the desktop, it will wipe out any info you may already have with the online version.

  7. Also be aware that if you have used the multi-currency feature in your desktop file, you won’t be able to import it into the online version. Lot’s of effort to get a file ready to import, only to learn this at the last minute. QB Canada folk did not make this clear before we signed up, so we had to cancel the account after the fact. Like everyone else, unless I can import my many years worth of data, I won’t be moving online.

  8. Leslie,

    Same thing happened to me and I had to cancel.. I would move it online but they need to support multi-currency migration for us to make the move.

    • Hi Alex, Intuit is striving to improve QBO, and for some types of business’s it will work, BUT until they develop, if ever, something similar to Desktop, then don’t make the switch.
      For Service types of companies, it will work – IF you don’t need Job Costing. Payroll has YET to develop the ability to Job Cost. Remember, the US QBO is about a decade ahead.
      The best way to push Intuit, is to comment on Intuit’s Community sites what you needs are, as they monitor these closely.

  9. At the very least, when using the support features online regarding exporting or converting QBO to QBDT, the very first line should be a “Warning for Canadian Subscribers” that converting their online version to desktop is NOT an option. Or better yet, when subscribing to QBO, the warning should appear as the first line in the set up instructions or user policies. After spending numerous hours trying to figure out how to do this conversion and to only discover at the end that this is actually not even an option is very unprofessional.

  10. QBO has been fantastic since we have made the switch. It has allowed our company to move to a more automated system that is accessible anywhere. One major component that is missing now is the Merchant Services doesn’t facilitate multi-currency. Otherwise it has been fantastic

    • Hi Kelly, I’m sure Intuit is pleased with your comment. I agree that the accessibility is an excellent feature along with the safety of being Cloud based. Once Intuit tweaks the areas that are missing from the QBO, that the Desktop version has, we will all be using QBO.

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